I remember all the way back to my first home computer. It wasn’t actually a computer, it was a WebTV, the poor girl’s plug into the TV version of those big expensive home computers they sold at Best Buy. Even way back then, we knew whatever we typed would be out there in cyberspace forever, never erased. Warnings over and over again popped up from citizens in chat rooms all over the world. I understood the rules, researched what I wanted to research and spoke my peace anyway. My little bitty world is of no interest to international government agencies.
I made several friends with my little WebTV. There was this one older lady in England named Jeannie, who did the telephone Tarot card readings. The writer soul in me sought her out. I loved her stories about her clients, raising her daughter, the guy next door she wanted nothing more than to “snog” regularly with. Conversations like the ones we had made me grumble at my little WebTV. So engrossing, then the phone would ring, and we’d get disconnected.
“Grrrr! Jeannie, I’m trying to stay online.”
Time frame of this conversation, less than a month after the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Jeannie and I had already had several conversations regarding the government using online chat rooms, instant messaging to watch for more terrorists. She replied, “Just type: airplane, tower, and bomb in a sentence and you won’t get disconnected again. The government will become very interested in keeping you online.”
The towers falling too new, I gasped in shock that she could laugh about it, but when in Rome, well England… “Airplane. Tower. Bomb.”
Sure enough, my WebTV didn’t cut out again that night. Common sense. I knew it was just a coincidence, but Jeannie had me laughing hysterically, something I really needed in those creepy days.
“Now that we are being listened to, we should make our demands.”
I typed back, “Dear President Bush, while I have your attention. I need you to call my boss and get me a raise!”
“Yeah, and now that you are on government watch lists, you know you’re going to have to stop doing all that computer chat room sex. No more dirty bits.”
“What?! No way! I can’t give up chat room sex. That’s the best part of having a computer. I refuse…” Then I thought about it. “Hell, if the CIA has to listen to me every day, the least I can do is make it interesting for them! All those neighbors complaining about other neighbors, chats with grandmas, and then — ME!”
Sure enough, there was this one guy (my favorite of the computer guys) who was everything I fantasized about, educated and worldly, reserved computer geek in public, and naughty as fuck in the sheets. He got some of my best dirty bits later, all to help those poor geeks sitting in little plywood office cubicles somewhere out there.
I’m sitting here now in my underwear, wondering about what I’m going to wear to work, listening to the President speak about the Verizon wiretapping of phone calls, etc. and thinking….
The complaints are funny. Oh yeah, President Obama and Michelle are sitting there listening to you bitch about that hoochie next door, the unfairness of your brother inheriting more of grandma’s will money than you, etc.
Dear Mr. President, I’m here to rescue you. Give me a minute to hook up… Wait! Now that I’m older, I don’t stalk computer chat rooms for naughty bits any more. Why?! — I don’t want to be one of those boring people! Do they still have computer chat rooms? Dear CIA, I’ll get to working on it… I’ll never be too old for that!